“Footloose" at the Timber Lake Playhouse -- June 13 through 23.

Thursday, June 13, through Sunday, June 23

Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll IL

Lauded by London Theatre as "a feel-good ‘fish out of water’ musical that easily takes the audience on to a great journey of good songs, optimism, and fun," the exuberant stage version of the classic '80s movie Footloose enjoys a pre-summer engagement at Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse, its June 13 through 23 staging sure to demonstrate why the show received four 1999 Tony nominations and enjoyed a New York run of more than 700 performances.

As fans of the Kevin Bacon film know, Footloose is the story of Ren McCormack, a teenage boy from Chicago. He and his mother move to the small Midwestern town of Bomont after his father abandons them, yet upon arriving, Ren finds himself at odds with most of the town, including the Reverend Shaw Moore. The Reverend has convinced the town to outlaw dancing, which Ren and most of the town's youths find unbelievable. And with the help of the Ariel (the Reverend’s daughter) and Willard (a country lad who becomes his best friend), Ren has to convince the community's straight-laced residents and the bitter Reverend to let the teenagers dance, and in the process, help the town heal from a tragedy that affected them all. Boasting thrilling dancing and a touching romance, the Footloose musical also features a number of the best-loved songs from the movie, among them "Holding Out for a Hero," "I'm Free (Heaven Helps the Man)," "Let's Hear It for the Boy," "Almost Paradise," and the unforgettable title tune.

The original Footloose movie soundtrack went on to sell more than 9 million copies in the United States. All of the songs in the initial release were co-written by Dean Pitchford based on various songwriting styles: for "Holding Out for a Hero," he listened to various songs written by Jim Steinman, such as his work with Meat Loaf, and then wrote the first two lines ("Where have all the good men gone/And where are all the gods?/Where's the streetwise Hercules/To fight the rising odds?") in this manner to spark Steinman's creativity. "Footloose" and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" both topped the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1985 Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. "Footloose" also received a 1985 Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Song – Motion Picture. Composer Miles Goodman adapted and orchestrated the film's score, and music from the soundtrack was released prior to the film's premiere in February of 1984. The filmmakers felt that songs produced a stronger emotional response from people already familiar with them, which heightened the experience of watching the movie, and the music video for "Footloose" famously had scenes from the movie, rather than footage of performer Kenny Loggins.

TLP’s production of Footloose is directed by the venue's former artistic Director James Beaudry. Beaudry returns to TLP for his 18th season, eight of which found him serving as as Artistic Director. He is joined on the creative team by music director Matt Surico, choreographer Maddie Rodrigue, scenic designer and TLP alum Spencer Donovan,  costume designer Bob Kuhn, and lighting designer Sam Biondolillo.  Props are designed by Gabe Seplow and sound design by Michael Donahue. Meg Rosenberg will assume the role of Production Stage Manager.

The cast features Steve McCoy as Reverend Shaw Moore, Emily Jewell as his wife Vi, Ahmeer Bethea as Ren McCormick, Malaika Wanjiku as Rusty, and Cody Jolly as Cowboy Bob. Also in the cast are TLP Resident Company members K. Bernice, Brie McClellan, Nancy Teerlinck, Kristofer Holz, Morgan Milone, Malaika Wanjiku, Caroline Lynch Desmarais, Gabriela Hernandez, Sitare Sadeghi, Anya Katherine Jones, Emma Theriot, Ahmeer Bethea, Sawyer Coffin, Jack Catena, Joshua Credle. Matthew Hommel, and Lucas Diego Marinetto. Local actors John Chase, Morelia Vargas and Avery Moran round out the cast.

Footlose will be performed at the Mt. Carroll theatre from June 13 through 23, with scheduled performances at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $25-35 and more information and tickets are available by calling (815)244-2035 and visiting TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

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